Airfoil Services Sdn. Bhd. (ASSB) expects to open an additional 5,200-m.2 (55,972-ft.2) of space to its facility by March 2020, in order to satisfy growing customer demand for turbine airfoil repair services. Located on a 24,000-m2 (258,334-ft.2) site in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ASSB’s current facility consists of 6,000-m2 (64,583-ft.2) of production floor space and an additional 2,500-m2 (26,910-ft.2) devoted to office space. Operations from the new building are slated to commence in September, according to Wim van Beers, the company’s CEO and managing director.
ASSB, explains van Beers, was established in 1991 and is a 50/50 joint venture of MTU Aero Engines and Lufthansa Technik. Focusing on the V2500 and CFM56 variants, ASSB also provides what he describes as a “comprehensive range of airfoil repair services” for high-pressure compressor (HPC) and low-pressure turbine (LPT) airfoils used in widebody and narrowbody engines, such as the CF6-80C, GP7000 and the CFM56 and V2500 engine families. “Alongside repair development and baseload volume, the partners contribute knowledge, training and improved quality standards to this location,” he notes.
In addition to its joint venture partners, ASSB also serves what van Beers calls “a global customer base of over 80 entities,” including MROs, airlines and parts traders. Third party work, he reports, makes up about half of its turnover.
“MRO demand is very healthy at this time, and shops are fully loaded worldwide,” says van Beers. “Newer generation engines are entering the shops earlier than expected and older engines, such as the CF6-80C2, are being flown longer than expected, due to low oil prices. Current generation engines such as the V2500 and CFM56 have large installed fleets that are starting to enter shop visits peaks. Those factors have created a knock-on effect for repair shops, which supply MRO facilities with repaired parts to rebuild the engines,” van Beers stresses.
Volume, in fact, is expected to grow. To illustrate, van Beers says that over 600,000 parts were redelivered in 2018. “With the added 5,200 square feet, repair capacity will reach 900,000 parts annually,” he says. “ASSB is also highly focused on research and development, and has recently initiated several repair development projects for new generation airfoils in order to increase its product portfolio in the near future.”